Home

A concept image showing two runners on a path by new homes and surrounded by landscaped gardens and wildflowers

A new public park and sustainable garden community

The proposal to develop Rookwood is ambitious and forward-thinking and would be a sustainable development of the highest standard. The aim is to create an award-winning scheme, with the health and wellbeing of wildlife, ecology, landscape and people at its heart.

Ambition

The proposal to create a new public park at Rookwood is a community-inspired idea which has come forward through consultation and debate on the new District Local Plan.

The new park would create an umbrella of protected wildlife sites and open space around Horsham Town Centre, linked by the Riverside Walk, to Chesworth Farm, Leechpool and Owlbeech Woods with Horsham Park at its centre.

This is a uniquely Horsham vision to create more public open space, an extension to Warnham Local Nature Reserve, a site for a possible new primary school and over 250 much needed affordable homes, all funded by an eco-friendly, sustainable, garden-setting development. The new homes would be in the southern more urbanised setting, retaining much of the open space, vegetation and landscape and protecting the two river corridors.

The North

The master-plan design for this part of the site is confined to the area north of Warnham Road, where a possible new primary school site is proposed and a new entrance gateway to Warnham Local Nature Reserve. The rest of the North would be dedicated to recreational activities with full public access. No housing is proposed in this area.

The North offers a huge range of possibilities for re-wilding, improving biodiversity, enhancing wildlife networks and enabling the community to get closer to nature. The details would be agreed by working with environmental experts, stakeholders and local community groups. 70% of the site would be open space.

An aerial view of the northern area of the site with the development proposal area marked in red

All visuals used are for illustrative purposes only.

Key features of the North

A site for a possible primary school

The development would provide a site for a possible new 210-place primary school which would serve the new community and relieve pressure on existing nearby schools.

An expanded Warnham Local Nature Reserve

Warnham Local Nature Reserve is a regionally important ecological resource and the existing golf course can be reshaped to enhance it.

A new public park

The rest of the North would be dedicated to recreational activities with full public access. No housing is proposed in this area.

A labelled map of the proposed expansion and enhancement of the northern site.

All visuals used are for illustrative purposes only.

North descriptions, clockwise from left: Primary school; Main road (A24); Play facilities for school; Walnut Tree Plantation; Viewing Points; Bird hide/covered seating; New visitor centre; New Warnham Local Nature Reserve car park; Warnham Mill Pond; Warnham Local Nature Reserve; Main entrance from Warnham Road (B2237).

The South

The illustrative master-plan shows development would be primarily on the existing fairways with retention of the established green infrastructure.

There would be no development between Boldings Brook and Red River wildlife corridor (currently the 15th Fairway), which would instead provide a large wildlife corridor along the east of the site. A network of cycle and pedestrian routes would link the development to Redford Avenue and vehicular access would be via a new roundabout to the north.

An illustrative masterplan of the southern section of the site from above

All visuals used are for illustrative purposes only.

Key features of the South

Eco-friendly homes

Around 750 homes are proposed for the site, including some 250 much-needed affordable homes, all within walking or cycle distance of Horsham town centre.

Protection for existing river corridors and wildlife

We are committed to protecting and enhancing the important waterways and landscape features, namely Red River and Boldings Brook, which form part of the ecological network from the North to the South of the site.

Flood mitigation

The scheme would have a comprehensive sustainable drainage system, which would incorporate swales and holding ponds and would include measures to improve existing flood problems. This would benefit homes in Redford Avenue and Rookwood Park.

Proposed southern site map with labels

All visuals used are for illustrative purposes only.

South descriptions, clockwise from left: Water feature/flood mitigation; Playing fields and pitches; Water feature/floor mitigation; Existing golf course; Proposed apartments; Main road (A24); Existing pond retained as a landscape feature; local centre with retail and amenities; Main access from Warnham Road (B2237)

Benefits of the proposal

A concept image for the expanded Warnham Local Nature Reserve, featuring a play area and visitor centre

Wellbeing benefits

How the proposal would benefit the health and wellbeing of residents

A concept image of two runners on an open path between houses surrounded by landscaped gardens and wildflowers

Community benefits

Facilities, housing and creating a new neighbourhood

A concept shot of the overhead view of the northern section of the development site

Environmental benefits

Assessing the proposal’s ecological impact on our local area

About the proposal

The proposal to create a new public park at Rookwood for Horsham is an inspiring idea which has come forward from the community. It follows wide public consultation about the new Local Plan for housing and development which the Council is required to produce. A new public park would link via the Riverside Walk with Chesworth Farm and Leechpool and Owlbeech Wood to create an umbrella of protected wildlife sites and open space around Horsham town with Horsham Park in the middle.

The original proposal of building homes across the whole golf course area has substantially evolved after a wide-ranging consultation with community groups, partners and residents. It was clear that people want areas of public open space that they can enjoy with their families, and this plan takes land which until now has only been given over to those playing golf and opens it up to full public use.

The new park would sit alongside an extension to Warnham Local Nature Reserve, a site for a possible new primary school and around 250 much-needed affordable homes, all funded by a new eco-friendly, sustainable, garden-setting development. Homes would only be built on the southern more urbanised setting of the fairways, retaining much of the open space, vegetation and landscape. It would also protect the two river corridors.

Overall, this ambitious and visionary proposal will, if allocated in the Local Plan, give Horsham residents a new garden neighbourhood, an extended Local Nature Reserve and a new area for public recreation right on the edge of the town.

Your questions answered

Read responses to frequently asked questions about the proposal for Rookwood

View questions and answers